Monday, September 27, 2010

PRODUCTION SPELLED CORRECTLY

videoTwo O’clock on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Woodford County. Downtown is buzzing, merchants outside, lunch, and a Roots and Heritage Festival. Who would want to go inside a theatre for a musical comedy about six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser on a day like today. Me. And I’m glad I did.

Woodford Theatre’s community production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is a unexpected light musical comedy that allows us into the gymnasium of this annual event and the cast is going to make sure they take us along into the highs and hells of the Bee. A focused ensemble cast brought together by Kirchner, Stohlmann and Fitzpatrick (director, music director and choreographer) are at play. Looking, listening, reacting and acting with each other in this environment delivers the goods to make this production worth seeing and participating in. Improv with this kind of material could be dangerous. But this cast and crew found a good balance with the music, dialogue and stage/dance movement.  Mostly on stage for an hour and a half, this troupe was involved and engaged with the script and audience. You pulled me in an took me along. Thank you.

I love the element of the guest spellers from the audience. I heard something while in the lobby before of a kid being asked to come up on stage. It was a creative script choice and the cast kept things under control and took care of their guests. I’m easily fooled.

My compliments to the production staff of the Woodford Theatre. I’ve enjoyed your productions I’ve experienced their and should attend more often. You offer and provide a cohesive program and production and take great care of your community assets you have for both local artists and community.

Thank you for bringing me inside from the sunshine and activities outside and giving me another reason to enjoy local theatre. Take another bow cast and crew.

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